Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hollywood’s Dustin Hoffman Admits That Focusing on Physical Beauty Is Detrimental

Women can be catty.

Not me, of course, because I never stoop to such lows and make fun of people based on their tacky or trashy outfits and assumed attitudes. I’m clearly talking about other women.

This isn’t meant to excuse us (oops. I mean them.) at all, but we’re much more likely to notice subtleties and nuances than men are. So we’ll pay attention to whether shoes are too stripper-esque, whether somebody’s patterned stockings clash with the rest of their similarly mish-mashed outfit (*cough* *cough* my one coworker), or if a dress hugs in all the wrong places.

Sorry, but we do. It’s automatic, though obviously we can still choose what to do with that visual input. Except in the case of Baltimore women who walk down the street sporting skin-tight, leopard print leggings, equally nasty top and the ugliest shoes you could possibly imagine.

In that case, I defy even a man not to notice that fashion train wreck!

Speaking of the male gender… according to a Dustin Hoffman admission, men do just the opposite. Instead of being hypercritical, they’ll completely ignore females who don’t automatically fit their society-schooled understanding of beauty.

In a video interview with the American Film Institute, Hoffman talked about his experience playing the Dorothy Michael character in “Tootsie.” He recounted how he once asked his makeup artists to make him look like a more attractive woman than they had been, to which they responded “That’s as beautiful as we can get you, Charlie.”

Apparently, that really affected him. He recalled:

“… I think [my character is] an interesting women when I look at myself onscreen. And I know that if I met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character because she doesn’t fulfill physically the demands that we’re brought up to think women have to have in order to ask them out… There’s too many interesting women I have… not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed.”

At least in that one clip, he doesn’t say he wouldn’t talk to certain women who didn’t meet his opinion of attractive. It’s society’s stereotype he’s desperately trying to fulfill.

Now, everybody has a certain type that they’re automatically physically attracted to. Personally, I go for tall, dark and handsome/cute. Cliché, I know, but it’s what I like. That’s not to say, however, that somebody who’s short, blonde and plain can’t be just as worthwhile when there’s so much more to a person than their physical looks.

I’ve already admitted to being catty at times, so I’m really not trying to get up on a high horse about this subject. We’ve all incorrectly judged people by appearances, and despite my silly protestations at the beginning of this blog, I know I’ve been a wench before in this matter.

Yet Hoffman’s admission automatically makes me a little depressed thinking about all the people missing out on so much in order to feel “accepted” and “normal” and “approved.”

I have no brilliant or scathing comments to close this blog post with. It’s simply sad. I truly wish we could become comfortable enough in our own skins to be the individuals we’re supposed to be.

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